Are you are sitting at home watching the TV, none of your new friends in London have called in a while and youre feeling pretty lonely; youre probably feeling a little left out. This is a normal feeling, everybody gets left out at some point but it can be very upsetting, especially to those new to London and having few friends. Heres how to deal with it and get on with your life…
1) Make the first move
The chances are youre being paranoid; your friends could be ill or busy. They could even be feeling the same and wondering why you havent called them. The best way is to test the water by sending a message, something like “Hey, I havent seen you in a while, hows it going?” If they get back to you relatively quickly, with a friendly response, chances are theyve been busy or may have been feeling the same as you. If their reply is delayed or distant, follow it up and try to make conversation. If after a few days, there has been no response, dont push it. If thats the case, get out there and look for more friends.
2) Become involved with people
Ask your new friends in London if they would like to make plans with you. You need to be tactfully explicit that you are free and want to hang out with them. They may already have plans but if you use this trick, rather than asking directly, theres a greater chance theyll invite you along. Avoid asking what their plans are directly, if they are trying to exclude you, theyll just tell you they are busy or become distant.
3) Organise a get together
If you take the initiative to organise something for your friends, the chances are theyll take you up on your offer. There are a wide variety of fun activities available in London; you could go bowling, challenge your friends to a pool tournament, go to the cinema, laze about in one of the parks or perhaps you could go clubbing, anything to get you all together. Alternatively, if money is an issue, a DVD, games night or a party are fantastic substitutes to going out.
If you feel youve been excluded, this is your chance to show your friend what they have been missing – show them you are a fun person who they enjoy spending time with. Dont try too hard, you could risk coming across as desperate and they may end up ditching you.
4) Go find new friends
If youre pretty sure your friends are cutting you out, get out and make some more! Stop sulking in front of the TV and get active. One of the best ways to make friends is by joining interest groups; if you enjoy literature, join a book group, if you enjoy the arts join a museum society. If you are of a sporty disposition, go join a team or club.
One thing is for sure, youre never going to make friends if you dont talk to people. Everywhere you go, talk to everybody. When at work, university or any where you come into contact with people, why not try speaking to that person who you normally wouldnt? Who knows, you could really hit it off.
5) Organise another get together
As you did for point 3 but invite your new friends in London – along with the people who excluded you – chances are, theyll be surprised you have other friends and may start putting in the effort. Above all, you need to show everybody how much fun to be with you is to be around.
6) Keep yourself busy
You will start to feel lonely if you just sit alone watching TV. Try to keep active, get fit – go running, swimming or to the gym. Indulge yourself, do the things you enjoy – anything to make you feel good about yourself; go shopping, get a new haircut. Dont allow your mind to wander, use this time to do the things youve always wanted to do; see point 10.
7) Show them your X factor
No, I dont mean gathering your friends to watch the TV talent show; I mean show your friends your special talent. It could be that you play guitar, write or cook really well – something that makes you stand out. If its the culinary skills which you posses, why not invite your friends round for dinner? If you dont have an X factor, see point 10.
8) Its them not you!
If you have been excluded from the group, its their problem not yours. You should always stay true to yourself, dont change for other people – but you can improve; try to work out what it was that drove them to cut you out and improve that aspect. Dont act like a different person because you feel thats who your friends would prefer, think about it – they became friends with you, because of you.
Get a piece of paper and write down your good and bad points. Work on the bad points to become a better person, not a different person. If you still dont have a clue what it could be, ask people you see you every day. Ask a few people to get a range of opinions, write them down and compare lists.
9) Call your family
Spend time with them if you can, if not make long distance calls. They will always be there for you, open up to them – this will help stop lonely feelings from creeping in.
10) Get a new hobby
One of the things which make us attractive to friends and new people is our skills. These skills can bring you closer to people, helping you meet new friends in London. If youve always wanted to learn to play guitar, do it. You could take comedy lessons; laughter is infectious, being witty can be attractive and learning how to be funny helps build confidence. Same goes with acting and singing.
You need to occupy your mind in order to stop lonely feelings creeping in; the best way is to take part activities which can increase your potential to make new friends in London, such as volunteering.